Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Day The Music Died

For a number of weeks/posts now, I have refrained from writing about my daily walks in, around and through my neighboring memorial gardens. You know, the cemetery. I was getting hints that you, my loyal followers, were contemplating calling the local authorities because of your concern with my almost addiction to the place. So, I backed off. Which limited my story lines. Cause this place is riddled with good material!

I cannot contain myself any more. I have to share my most recent "episode" with said funerary grounds!

The other evening, BK and I were taking our customary 6:00 PM stroll. That dog sure does show up in a lot of my churchyard stories. I'm beginning to think that crazy canine is the key to these orb, gray-haze filled occurrences. Hmm. I should look into fencing an acre or two and turn that nut job out by herself! Is there such a thing as a dog exorcism?

Anyway, as we approached the A.M.E. Zion structure, we heard music. She heard it, too. She told me so. Actually, it was a great rhythm of beating drums. Not like The Black Eyed Peas kind of beat. More along the lines of a Jamie Foxx slow jam. I bobbed my head. I adjusted my stride to the beat. And as we approached the parking area for the City of the Dead, there wasn't a car to be seen. Not a car. Not a moped. Not a Vespa. Not a riding lawn mower. Not a bicycle. Not a soul - at least not a living one.

For sure, you are chuckling. You've decided that, clearly, there is an easy explanation for this. And, perhaps you're correct. Except for this. One MUST pass my house to get to the sanctuary - and, of course, again when one leaves. I never saw anyone or anything come or go.

And I'll leave you with this to ponder, too. As B and I passed the driveway entrance, the music - the beating drums - stopped. No longer a sound. Not a beat. Not a tap. Not a dropping of a drum stick.

Foolishly, we lingered, waiting to see who'd leave the building. I'm still waiting to see someone come out of that I'm-never-setting-foot-in-that-place place of worship. Yep, still waiting. And I haven't heard the drums since.

But I have picked up a few dollars in change that just randomly appears on the rarely traveled road in front of the necropolis.

I like to refer to the found money as simply pennies from heaven.

I could share that little tidbit with you, too, but I don't look good in solid white with my arms tied behind my back.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Dark Thought

I have been struggling spiritually for over a year now. My anger is directed at a select few. And I feel like I'm in a war in which I'm the only one on my team - and I'm the defense... I think I need to stop waiting for one of the select few to notice this battle I'm fighting because it's becoming a daily disappointment.

I was in the middle of my long run yesterday and "hitting the wall". I was hot, frustrated and feeling very inept. And I thought, "Why am I bothering with this? Why am I working so hard at being the healthiest I can be? Because, after all, in the end, I will be dead just like the person who abused their body with drugs and alcohol."

Wasn't that a dark thought, Internet? Wasn't that grim?

When it was all said and done, I felt ashamed for having the thought. There's no denying the inevitable - yes, we are all going to die. But I thought if I allowed that thought to linger any longer or allowed myself to dwell on it or, worse yet, allowed the thought to change my current lifestyle in any negative fashion, then I would have surely lost my war.

I pushed through yesterday's wall (and I will do the same with the one's I've yet to face) and reminded myself that it's all about the journey. And I want to enjoy my journey, no matter how long or short it will be.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


(Disclaimer: The names have been changed in this post to protect the innocent - that's me. The last thing I need is HIPPA man knocking on my door).

Me: "Thank you for calling Carolina Pines Surgery, this is Joyce. May I help you?"

Her: "Yes. I'd like to make an appointment with the doctor, please."

Me: "Wonderful. I can help you with that. What do you need to see the doctor about?"

Her: "My shoulder. I have tendinitis and arthritis in it. I need to see about getting some medication for the pain."

Me: "Ma'am, Dr. Smooth is a general surgeon. So unless you're at the point of surgery for your shoulder, you'll need to contact your primary care physician. Do you have a primary doctor?"

Her: "Yes I do. It's Dr. Rigid. And he referred me to Dr. Smooth."

Me: "Did he? I haven't received any of your medical information yet. Let me call over to Dr. Rigid's office and see what I can learn and I'll be back in touch with you."

Her: "That'll be fine. Thank you. Goodbye"

Me: "Hey Sally, it's Joyce over at Dr. Smooth's office. I just got off the phone with Mrs. Sneaky. She says she's a patient over there and that Dr. Rigid has referred her to us. But I don't have any paperwork on her. Can you pull her chart and send me what I need?"

Sally: "Sure. Hold on and let me just verify the basics..."

Sally: "Um, Joyce. Mrs. Sneaky is a resident at Once Here You Never Leave retirement home. We haven't seen her in months. Her care is being handled by the hospitalist at the facility. Maybe you should call over there and see what this is all about."

Me: "Hmm...okay. Thanks, Sally!"

Me: "Hi. This is Joyce. I'm calling from Carolina Pines Surgery. I need to speak with whomever is handling the care and appointments for one of your residents, Mrs. Sneaky."

Receptionist: "Certainly. Hold please and I'll get the nurse."

Mrs. DON: "Hello? This is Mrs. DON, may I help you?"

Me: "Hi Mrs. DON, this is Joyce over at Carolina Pines Surgery. I've been contacted by Mrs. Sneaky. She's attempting to make an appointment with Dr. Smooth regarding her shoulder. I've verified that she's a patient of Dr. Rigid's. I just hung up speaking with his nurse, who referred me back to you folks. I think there's some confusion regarding the care we provide here. I thought I should call and speak with you about the best course of action for Mrs. Sneaky."

Mrs. DON: "I'm sorry about this, Joyce. And I apologize for any inconvenience. The best course of action for Mrs. Sneaky is for us to go back to her room and unplug her telephone - - - AGAIN."


Do you know where your seniors are...and what they're doing? Might want to check Grandpa's checking account in the slight event he's been hookin' up with his bookie. Just sayin'...

Old people rock!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Can't Decide

I suspect this post is going to be random, at best. Just look at the title.

Random because I can't seem to pull all the thoughts and feelings I have into the order to which I'm accustomed. Bear with me.

I'm in a book club. These ladies and I have been together for, somewhere around 2 years. We meet faithfully once a month. It's a day I look forward to. It's an evening in which I get a little sad because that day now has an X through it on my calendar. And I wait for the next month. Each of these ladies is a wife, a mother, a daughter...some are aunts, sisters, grandmothers, widows. But all are first and foremost a woman.

Women fascinate me. We are extremists. We can be extremely gentle, kind and loving or we can be an extreme bitch if the situation calls for it. I find something fascinating and interesting about each of my club-mates. I'm sure they don't know it, but I pay very close attention to them when I'm with them. I watch their expressions change when they talk about their children. I notice the passion with which they speak when we're discussing politics - national or local. I watch their eyes tear when something or someone has touched their heart harmoniously or with discord. I know each ones laugh now. My life is richer with these women in it. All of this ran through my mind last night as our little entourage took a field trip.

YOU MUST GO NOW! Don't wait for the Red Box to stock it. Don't wait for Net Flix to deliver it to your mail box. Don't stream it on your PC/Laptop. Go to the theater. You deserve it.

Go see The Help. And normally, I would suggest - HIGHLY - reading the book first. But in this case, you'll be fine going in cold.

This book/movie is, ultimately, about women. About the relationships women form. Relationships with the men in their lives - fathers, brothers, lovers, co-workers - and relationships with other women. I believe to my core that there is no other love like that from a woman.

This book/movie is also about race and prejudice and the unjust treatment of humans toward other humans.

This book/movie is about determination in so many forms. About our responsibilities to one another as mankind. About courage and doing what's "right".

This book/movie is about love.

"You is kind, you is smart, you is important."

Each and everyone of you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wearing White Was A Mistake

It was on sale. It was in my size. And I needed it.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I stopped in Old Navy to see what killer bargains they had. There were plenty. We stocked up. One of the best finds I came across was their workout gear; running shorts, yoga pants and sports bras. I grabbed a white one...sports bra, that is. I didn't try it on. I should have.

Fast forward to last week. I was on the treadmill at the gym. The machines face a huge glass window. People can see in. I can see my reflection. I started to sweat. A lot...

"Your whole life you go through painstaking efforts to hide your nipples and then...BOOM! Suddenly 100s of people get their own personal shot of them!!!"